ATHENS, TX -- Falcon International Reservoir joined the Toyota ShareLunker action on Thursday, February 7, with a 13.4-pound entry into the ShareLunker program.
Isaac Denson of Monahans was fishing in two to three feet of water when the big bass hit about 11:30 a.m. The fish was 26.5 inches long and 20 inches in girth.
The fish was weighed and held for pickup at the official Toyota ShareLunker Weigh and Holding Station at Falcon State Park. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department staff from the A.E. Wood State Fish Hatchery in San Marcos picked the fish up and took it to San Marcos, where it is awaiting the results of DNA testing.
If the fish is pure Florida largemouth, it will be taken to the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (TFFC) in Athens and held for spawning; otherwise, it will be returned to the lake as quickly as possible.
The fish is the fifth entry of the season into the Toyota ShareLunker program, following entries from Lakes Austin, Fork (two entries) and Dunlap.
The largest entry of the season to date is Richard Scibek’s 16.04-pounder caught from Lake Fork on February 2. The angler who catches the largest entry of the season is named Angler of the Year and receives a prize package from G. Loomis consisting of a G. Loomis GLX854C jig and worm rod, a Shimano Chronarch 200E7 casting reel and a spool of Power Pro super-braid fishing line. If the Angler of the Year is a Texas resident, he or she also receives a lifetime fishing license.
Anyone legally catching a 13-pound or bigger largemouth bass from Texas waters, public or private, between October 1 and April 30 may submit the fish to the Toyota ShareLunker program by calling the ShareLunker hotline at (903) 681-0550 or paging (888) 784-0600 and leaving a phone number including area code. Fish will be picked up by TPWD personnel within 12 hours.
ShareLunker entries are used in a selective breeding program at TFFC in Athens. Some of the offspring from these fish are stocked back into the water body from which they were caught. Any lake producing an entry into the program receives a share of the fingerlings, whether the fish from that lake spawns or not. Anglers who enter fish into the program receive a free replica of their fish, a certificate and ShareLunker clothing and are recognized at a banquet at TFFC whether their fish spawns or not.
For complete information and rules of the ShareLunker program, tips on caring for big bass, a list of official Toyota ShareLunker weigh and holding stations and a recap of last year’s season, see www.tpwd.state.tx.us/sharelunker. The site also includes a searchable database of all fish entered into the program along with pictures where available.
Information on current catches, including short videos of interviews with anglers when available, is posted on www.facebook.com/sharelunkerprogram.
The Toyota ShareLunker Program is made possible by a grant to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation from Gulf States Toyota. Toyota is a long-time supporter of the Foundation and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, providing major funding for a wide variety of education, fish, parks and wildlife projects.